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Analysis: Mario Gomez and Strikers Conundrums

27 years old and boasting a a slick haircut and a booming reputation is the latest player we have been linked to Chelsea and for once, there may be some truth in the links. Mario Gomez is on his way to Chelsea in the summer according to German Newspaper Bild. It must be noted that this is a well respected and fairly reliable newspaper so don’t be too surprised if this deal is confirmed this summer.  It is widely accepted that Gomez is unlikely to fit in Pep’s plans when he takes over in Munich in the summer, with the general consensis being that he wants Lewandowski or Suarez. Because of this, speculation has mounted with Chelsea said to be wanting to add him to the ranks to replace Fernando Torres. The newspaper is reporting a transfer fee of about £30 million for the 6ft 2inches German striker.

Many know Gomez because of his goalscoring exploits in the Bundesliga last season where he finished highest in the league. I suspect the majority of you know him for his performance vs Chelsea on the infamous 19th May 2012 Champions League Final, where he – along with many other Bayern players – missed chances and eventually led to Chelsea winning the Champions League. Don’t be fooled by his performance that game however as this guy is top drawer.

Injuries have hampered his 2012/2013 season and he has since lost his place in the Bayern team to Mario Mandzukic – who has been in sensational form this year. Despite this, he has managed 7 goals in 15 appearances in the league and that is one thing he would bring to Chelsea, the guarantee of goals. Throughout his career, he has proven he can score goals and that is what provoked Bayern to spend £30 million on him in the summer of 2009. On the International stage or club stage, this guy has proven he can score. Headers, volleys, right foot, left foot, any body part he can score from and he would add definite firepower to the Chelsea strikeforce.

Due to Gomez’s size and strength, he is a good player to hold up the ball and bring the attacking midfielders into play (seems to be the main job of a Chelsea striker but more on that in a bit). In signing a world class player like Gomez, the board would certainly be showing that the club remain a massive club ready to challenge for big things.

However, here comes the general negative outlook, enjoy.

Striker Condundrums

Gomez is 27 years old and would cost £30 million. There lies the first problem. Paying that amount for a player who is probably just edging past his prime is something only the Anzhi’s and PSG’s of this world would probably do. £30 million is a gamble for an ageing star who will demand big wages and I believe that we would be better off looking at other targets if the asking price is over £20 million. Besides, our system involves 1 striker, therefore meaning next season we could have a £18 million pound striker, a £7 million striker, a £50 million striker and a £30 million striker all fighting for one positon. To me, that seems like pointless investment.

Gomez’s arrival would also have a big impact on Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has been phenominal this season and, in many peoples eyes, deserves a crack at the Chelsea first team. Gomez arriving though cuts off that passageway to the striker. Lukaku won’t get the chance he throughly deserves at Chelsea and thats a shame. Lukaku has about 10 years at the top at least and has the potential to be far better than Mario Gomez wheras Gomez has about 2 or 3 years left at the top. Lukaku was a big enough investment and we don’t need another expensive striker as I fear it could all be similar to Shevchenko and Torres. Big expensive striker who is past best years tends to equal flop.

In normal teams, the attacking midfielders are there to supply the striker with assists and help the team score goals. However, at Chelsea, the job of the attacking midfielders doesn’t appear to be that. The job of Hazard and Mata and Oscar etc is to score the goals, the striker is there to head the ball to them and let our band of merrymen tear holes in the opposition. The Chelsea build up play isn’t fast, it is always slow as the ball gets knocked about between the centre backs for a bit before eventually lumping it forward, then heading the ball to a midfielder who runs a bit and then somewhere later we have a shot. Slow build up does not suit Gomez, or Falcao or anyone like that. Poachers need fast service for the timing of their runs and our strikers often don’t get what they want and then they don’t score goals.

Gomez is a world class striker no doubt but I believe that we shouldn’t spend £30 million on him, it’s just too much. We need another striker in  the summer but I don’t think it will be or should be Gomez. We already have two excellent strikers in Lukaku and Ba, so I think we should use them next season and save ourself some money to spend on other areas of the squad and look at cheaper, younger strikers like Bony Wilfried.

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